The Let's Play Archive


by TheGreatEvilKing

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Original Thread: Tyranny: We ARE the baddies!




The Code of Hammurabi posted:

229 If a builder build a house for some one, and does not construct it properly, and the house which he built fall in and kill its owner, then that builder shall be put to death.

230. If it kill the son of the owner the son of that builder shall be put to death.

Julius Caesar's Commentary on the Gallic Wars posted:

Toward evening Caesar ordered the gates to be shut, and the soldiers to go out of the town, lest the towns-people should receive any injury from them by night. They [the Aduatuci], by a design before entered into, as we afterwards understood, because they believed that, as a surrender had been made, our men would dismiss their guards, or at least would keep watch less carefully, partly with those arms which they had retained and concealed, partly with shields made of bark or interwoven wickers, which they had hastily covered over with skins, (as the shortness of time required) in the third watch, suddenly made a sally from the town with all their forces [in that direction] in which the ascent to our fortifications seemed the least difficult. The signal having been immediately given by fires, as Caesar had previously commended, a rush was made thither [i. e. by the Roman soldiers] from the nearest fort; and the battle was fought by the enemy as vigorously as it ought to be fought by brave men, in the last hope of safety, in a disadvantageous place, and against those who were throwing their weapons from a rampart and from towers; since all hope of safety depended on their courage alone. About 4,000 of the men having been slain, the rest were forced back into the town. The day after, Caesar, after breaking open the gates, which there was no one then to defend, and sending in our soldiers, sold the whole spoil of that town. The number of 53,000 persons was reported to him by those who had bought them.

The Developers explaining their inspiration for Tyranny's evil posted:

I’ve found most of my inspiration comes from non-fiction: fascism, American exceptionalism, drug cartels, capitalist corporations, and militaries through the ages have all provided a great deal of inspiration as to how evil wins.

TheGreatEvilKing, what is this?

Tyranny is an isometric CRPG in the vein of the old Infinity Engine games. You play as a Fatebinder, a servant of the evil Overlord Kyros, who has conquered the known world over 400 years(!) and your job is to enforce Kyros' Law, which is very draconian and evil apparently. Three years after the initial conquest of the Tiers, the locals are rebelling, and Kyros' armies are paralyzed by pointless infighting between two of the generals. You are sent in to resolve this mess before Kyros has had enough and kills everyone. Things proceed from there.

Now, I want to say that Tyranny isn't a bad game. It does several things I absolutely adore such as the spellcrafting system, the now-ubiquitous hyperlinks in dialog, and rigging up the little portrait models to show character expressions. It is, however, a flawed game. Combat is grindy and repetitive and there aren't a lot of different enemies so you end up fighting the same pack of spear dudes. The game starts you as a devoted servant of the evil empire (you literally fight in the initial conquest) and gives you the option to betray Kyros and ramble about freedom in the first...20 minutes. The plot collapses in the third act and it's not quite clear why or how - unfortunately, I can't explain without spoilers. This isn't an Ash of Gods or a Numenera, but we're here to take a look at the good and the bad of this CRPG.

What I want to keep in mind is that Tyranny is vaguely inspired by the ancient world, yet the developers operate on modern morality. Kyros' armies enslave their enemies off screen, yet we see very few slaves in game. Compare this to Caesar above, who brags of enslaving 53,000 people in a propaganda piece he wrote to sell himself to the Romans. Look at the developers' influences - the history of 20th century ideologies like fascism, despite the game being set closer to the nominal past actual fascists like to invoke. The ancients are not modern people with bad technology, and they're not dumb and uneducated either. They thought very differently than we do, and I think it's going to be very interesting to compare Kyros's empire, which the game portrays as the triumph of evil, with what people actually did in antiquity. Caesar was known for mercy despite enslaving all those people and threatening to decimate his own troops. Kyros' laws literally allow anyone to surrender to the Overlord and have their lives spared, a deal that's much better than what ancient conquerors will offer you. The question before us is, does this make for a better or worse narrative?

So join me on our quest to navigate this weird mishmash of ancient worlds, modern morals, and magic as we go on our adventure with Tyranny.

This really looks better in video, but I suck at that. Sorry goons!

We will meet a lot of Archons. They're all assholes.

I really don't have a good historical comparison for these guys.

These guys are apparently based off phalanxes and I suspect are supposed to be the Spartan analogues. More on that later.

We'll be seeing a fair amount of these gentlemen over the course of the LP.

Anyway, that was the opening cutscene and next up is character creation! I need your help, goons!

We can be a man or a woman. The gender roles really do not matter because as a Fatebinder we literally have a blank check to do whatever as long as we keep Tunon and Kyros happy.

We need a portrait. We have...a lot of options. I will adjust skin color and whatnot to match the portrait, so please don't vote on that.

We need an origin for our evil person.

It legitimately doesn't matter what you pick because I'm shoehorning us into being a mage, and you can't stop me. The "guild apprentice" is apprentice mage, incidentally.

We need two skills

Now, you might be asking why I'm letting you vote on this if I'm shoehorning us into mage? The thing is all of the "spells" options can be found during gameplay, but if you pick literally anything else you get free talents. If you pick the spells (that you can find really early in the game) you are essentially cheating yourself out of free talents. That said, magic is so overpowered in this game (and has a legitimately cool spellcrafting system) that I don't give a shit. Vote away.

We need a banner

As a member of the secret police/free reign judges/whatever the hell a Fatebinder is we get a cool flag and don't have to use Tunon's.

Lastly, we need a name!

And no, we can't name ourselves "Kyros", nice try!

Decisions Lie Before Us!

I need a gender, portrait, history, two skills/sigils, a banner, and a name! Choose wisely, because next we get to figure out what we did in the Conquest! Also, I'm shoehorning us in as a mage anyway, so we're really just picking whether we want some starting talents or to actually have magic to use.

Table of Contents

Note that we only did two routes, so if you want to see Disfavored or the game!

Cleopatra Jones Does Anarchy

Cleopatra Jones and the Conquest of the Tiers
Cleopatra Jones and the Unfair Edict
Cleopatra Jones and the Laws of Kyros
Cleopatra Jones and the Growing Realization We Might Be Totally Fucked
Cleopatra Jones and the Quest for More Party Members
Cleopatra Jones and the Attack on Trap River
Cleopatra Jones and the Limitations of the Fatebinders
Cleopatra Jones and the Case of the Missing Iron
Cleopatra Jones and the Sidequests of Kyros
Cleopatra Jones and the Choice of Assholes
Cleopatra Jones And The Terrible Realization That Everything Has Gone To Shit
Cleopatra Jones and the Great Betrayal

Act 1 Postmortem: The Seeker of Power

Cleopatra Jones and the Deluded Archon
Cleopatra Jones and the Meeting in the Woods
Cleopatra Jones and the Chatty Party Members
Cleopatra Jones and the Burning Library
Cleopatra Jones and the Hunt For Artifacts
Cleopatra Jones and the Quest To Unfuck Barik's Life
Cleopatra Jones and The Chat With Bleden Mark
Cleopatra Jones and the Traumatized Archon
Cleopatra Jones And the Courtroom Drama
Cleopatra Jones and the Lying Mercenary
Cleopatra Jones and the Quest for Revenge
Cleopatra Jones and the Rocky Retort
Cleopatra Jones and the Terrible Townsfolk
Cleopatra Jones and the Ineptly Run Mercenary Company
Cleopatra Jones and the Boring Ass Dungeon
Cleopatra Jones and the Big Bane Beatdown
Cleopatra Jones and The Last Tidecaster
Cleopatra Jones and the Magicial Birds and Bees
Cleopatra Jones and the Unfunny Chorus Comedians
Cleopatra Jones and the Totally Legal Settlement
Cleopatra Jones and the Rehash of Bad Faction Choosing
Cleopatra Jones and the Enormous Pile of Assholes
Cleopatra Jones and the Unwanted Trolley Ride
Cleopatra Jones and TheGreatEvilKing's Descent Into Insanity
Cleopatra Jones and the Triumph of Incoherence
Cleopatra Jones and the Struggle of the Inept
Cleopatra Jones and the Poorly Thought Out Ending

Bastard's Wound Postmortem: Why Are We Here?

Cleopatra Jones and the Last Survivor of the Shadowhunter Tribe
Cleopatra Jones and the Town Full of Racists
Cleopatra Jones and the Stonestalker Tribe
Cleopatra Jones and the Attack on Treason Fort
Cleopatra Jones and the Breaking of the Game
Cleopatra Jones and the Chat With Barik
Cleopatra Jones and the Forced Violence
Cleopatra Jones and the Fortress of Fuckups
Cleopatra Jones and the Weakness of Kyros
Cleopatra Jones and the Derailed Trolley
Cleopatra Jones and the Beginning of the End

Act 2 Postmortem: This Was Never Going To Work

Cleopatra Jones and the Odd DLC Quest
Cleopatra Jones and the Failed Archon
Cleopatra Jones and The General Who Didn't Care
Cleopatra Jones and the Quest to Get HIgh
Cleopatra Jones and the Trial of Tunon
Cleopatra Jones and the End of the Game

Act Three Postmortem: I Am Kyros

Boris Joins the Chorus

Governor Boris and the Alternative Conquest
Governor Boris and the Vicious Beating
Governor Boris And The Distressing Fact Playing Melee In This Game Fucking Sucks
Governor Boris and the Treachery of the Great General
Governor Boris and the Wrath of Tunon
Governor Boris and the Chat with Nerat
Governor Boris and the Camp at Cacophony
Governor Boris and the Rude Mercenaries
Governor Boris and the Broken Captain
Governor Boris and The Shitty Leader
Governor Boris and The Bad Decisions
Governor Boris and the Mercy of Nerat
Governor Boris and the Band of Fuckups
Governor Boris and the Betrayal of Tunon
Governor Boris and the Great Blame Game
Governor Boris and the Sea of Boredom
Governor Boris and the Adventures in Blowing People Up
Governor Boris and the Unjust Trial
Governor Boris and the Cowardly Surrender

Miscellaneous Bonus Updates

Bonus Update #1: Favor, Wrath, Loyalty, and Fear
Bonus Update: The Bane
Interlude: The Triumph of Evil
Bonus Update: The Trial of Fatebinder Furia
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